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Thieves steal lead and vandalise historic buildings in Whitstable and Herne

By Jodie Nesling

Thieves have stolen thousands of pounds worth of lead in a spate of incidents covering Whitstable and Herne.

The targeted £500 from the roof of St Peter’s Church, Sydenham Street, Whitstable, between midnight and 5.02pm on 24 October 2017. The lead was later recovered nearby but Rev Simon Tillotson, who has lived in the area for 11 years, says it could cost up to £11,000 to repair the roof.

"We are covered by the insurance but it will cost thousands to repair. We are looking at alternatives to using lead at the moment. The thief was disturbed by a witness at the scene so we hope they can be traced."

St Peter's church was targeted by thieves.
St Peter's church was targeted by thieves.

The next evening lead worth £3,000 was reported stolen from the roof of Whitstable Castle in Tower Hill between 6.10pm on Wednesday 25 October 2017 and 6am the following day.

Sergeant Nick Barton of the Canterbury Community Safety Unit said: "St Martin’s Church at Herne also suffered damage to the roof overnight on Wednesday 18 October 2017. A number of tiles were smashed, although no lead was taken.’

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the three incidents. They would also like to hear from anyone who saw a white Ford Transit van near St Peter’s Church in the early hours of 27 October 2017.

Sergeant Barton added: "We would like to hear from anyone who saw the thieves at work or suspicious vehicles parked nearby at the relevant times. We are also urging people to be vigilant and if they see any suspicious activity near churches or historic buildings to call 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.’

Anyone with any information is asked to phone 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting reference ZY/51856/17.

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